Employee-first — 3 tips for recruiting and retaining talent

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Having entrepreneurial drive and determination might spring you out of the starting blocks as a new SME.

But it takes hiring and keeping talented staff for marathon-level business stamina.

There’s nothing wrong with having a strong leader at the helm of an emerging company, but being too autocratic can turn off staff.

Better to adopt an employee-first approach — here are three tips for recruiting and retaining talent.

  1. Culture

Culture to corporate entities is like water to fish — too often, it’s importance is only evident when it’s absent.

But embedding a positive ‘way you do things’ from the start will pay massive dividends as your business scales up — it ensures leadership accountability, increases transparency and leads to more robust decision-making.

Drafting a mission statement, defining your values and the behaviours that support them, and ensuring expectations are enforced throughout the hierarchy provides a solid start.

And you don’t have to be a global corporation to excel with culture — hiring specialist McCarthy Recruitment has recently been ranked the UK’s best workplace and Britain’s best place to work for women by Great Place to Work.

Take a leaf from their book and build an inclusive culture that supports staff and the bottom line.

  1. Flexible working

If there isn’t a genuine operational reason you require employees to work from 9-5, it might benefit you to ditch the traditional working pattern that’s past it’s sell-by date.

Having the right life-work balance is important to workers who are parents, care for elderly relatives, have health issues or are passionate about pastimes.

And if most roles aren’t customer-facing, or clients appreciate the flexibility of contact outwith office hours, it makes perfect sense to ditch a rigid regime.

Industry body Association for Project Managers believes that flexible working can improve employee motivation and retention and suits companies who rate performance on outcomes rather than time spent in the office.

Provided you’ve established trust, allowing staff to set their own hours and work away from the office helps them feel fulfilled and focused.

  1. Pensions and benefits

Recent research from insight agency BritainThinks revealed that 8 in 10 people believe the British public is currently feeling anxious about the future.

And employee doubts over their ability to supports themselves financially after retirement are magnified in this uncertain environment.

So offering staff an attractive pension scheme provides peace of mind and reinforces employer empathy about their workers’ life beyond business.

Independent advisory company Chancellor Financial Management can help you create a tailor-made pensions and benefits package that engages new and existing staff — it’s an astute investment.

If you intend to set your stall out as an employee-first firm, these three tips for recruiting and retaining talent will keep you fit and agile for the future.

How do you attract and keep staff? Share your thoughts in the comments section.